Enters: Sweetie Heart (9)
SH: :With a look of foreboding: Do you want the good news or the bad news first?
Me: I'll go with the good news.
SH: : Tosses me a piece of candy:
Me: And the bad news?
SH: :Hands me a piece of paper. "It's a behavior sheet."
So now I have two options. I can lecture her about getting in trouble at school. Tell her how her teacher already called and talked to me about her "bad" behavior. Tell her I expect her to be respectful and "make good choices" (whatever that means.)
Me: Okay :I look it over:
SH: You have to sign it. And I have to stay after school.
SH: :Stands there waiting for what's next. Daring me, with her look, to lecture her:
Me: Do you want to talk about it?
Me: Okay. This is between you and your teacher. I assume she's already talked to you about it. So I don't feel the need to say anything more about it. But I'm here to listen if you want to talk about it. :I sign the paper and hand it back:
Me: Everyone gets in trouble sometimes. It's not a big deal. In the last 5 years you've been at school you haven't had a single behavior sheet. I'm not concerned about this one. If you start getting more of these we'll need to sit down and talk about it. But that's all I have to say about it.
Sweetie Heart goes on to tell me all about what happened. I asked her what she could have done different. She responded.
We made connections. She knows I have confidence in her. She knows that I love her even when she makes mischief. And we build a relationship of trust. She knows she can talk to me about things without getting lectured about things. The afternoon and evening move on in a positive way and we forget about behavior sheet.
Thank you Vicki for helping me see beyond the mischief and live into a positive relationship with my children.
Vicki Hoefle, professional parent educator, has a new book out called Duct Tape Parenting:
A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids (Bibliomotion,
August 2012), which is available at bookstores nationwide, as well as on all major online
retailers, including Amazon, B&N, Indiebound, and others."